Reality check

FREMANTLE musician Carus Thompson takes a swipe at “toxic TV talent shows” in his latest single Starved myself Pretty.

The song lays bare the heartbreak behind the shows.

“They take advantage of vulnerable people who don’t understand what fame is—they just want it,” Thompson says.

“Music is about loving songs and loving what you do.

“If you do that, then the fame bit will take care of itself.”

• Singer-songwriter Carus Thompson. Photos supplied

The song’s reggae beat belies its serious message.

“You have to ‘read’ the lyrics to know it’s dark,” the singer-songwriter says.

With a solid international reputation built up over many years, Thompson says television reality shows dazzle with a quick path to fame and riches, but it’s invariably a short one.

“Most kids that end up on these shows will get chewed up and spat out, half the time because that’ll suit the prepared narrative,” he says.

“Reality TV shows work for the labels: they create a star they die and they create another. They want turnover.

“It’s not a competition, it’s exploitative reality television bullshit, and I can’t stand it.”

Along with the wannabe musicians, audiences are manipulated with a background story that pulls at the heart strings for commercial gain.

“Music and performance is a special, pure and beautiful thing and I can’t wait for these shows to run their course, die in the arse and have people come back to real gigs,” Thompson says.

Which is why he’s undertaking a national tour “with no tricks, no backing—just one man, a guitar and his songs.”

Over the last 20 years Thompson has sold 30,000 albums and toured the world with The John Butler Trio, The Waifs, Xavier Rudd, Jack Johnson and Pete Murray.

His song Lies was the 49th most-played song on Double J last year, and Beach Fires won two gongs at the International Song Writing Competition in Nashville.

Thompson’s first album in five years, Islands, kicks off a national tour, before he heads to Germany.

You can catch him at Clancy’s on Thursday March 29.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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